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pmiguel2

join:2005-12-13
Lafayette, IN

Outage/Frontier Indiana switch to PPPoE?

Executive summary: Late Sunday afternoon (10/30/2011) my Frontier ISP connection dropped. Upon contact, Frontier Tech support insisted that my connection was now PPPoE, having recently switched from DHCP in Indiana. The login and password given me, alas, did not resolve the issue and the agent scheduled a visit by an engineer to restore service in a few days. But a second service agent, later that evening, informed me that there were reports of internet outages in Indiana -- apparently unrelated to the DHCP to PPPoE switch over. Around 10PM EDT I power cycled my DSL router once more and normal service was re-established. However my service had reverted to DHCP! The changes made to my router settings to set up PPPoE had been wiped out.

Here are more details:

Late Sunday afternoon (10/30/11) my normally stable Frontier service seemed to lock up -- though the router webpage reported a normal connection. Upon restarting the router, DSL would connect as normal, but no ISP connection would occur. The "Internet" LED on my Actiontech WG704GT router actually turned solid red. (I don't recall this ever happening previously.)

Reluctantly I dug up a bill and called Frontier tech support. This would be the first time. Despite the dire warnings of Frontier's terrible service that heralded their purchase of Verizon's internet business in Indiana, I noticed no change other than a few icons on my DSL router web page in the several years since this event.

I was routed to the first tech support agent rapidly. He insisted the issue was likely that I needed to change my router settings to include a login and password using a PPPoE protocol rather than DHCP. I was surprised since DHCP had been used for decades in our area, even prior to Verizon DSL, by GTE. After making the necessary changes to my Actiontech's settings, the ISP connection light no longer turned red. It was now perpetually "Connecting".

Then my second shock: the agent opened a ticket and told me an engineer would come on site later in the week. This was shocking because one characteristic of Verizon's DSL support in the latter days was their deranged refusal to open trouble tickets, even in cases where there was clearly a (minor) issue at the central office. This was compensated by their apparent willingness to remain on the line indefinitely attempting more and more outlandish local software fixes to what was not a local issue.

I guess this was just another format of the same thing: the issue was not a local one -- my lines were fine, otherwise I would not have gotten solid DSL sync.

So, on the off-hand chance that the first agent had deliberately given me incorrect credentials, I called again later in the evening. Another, perhaps unfortunate, change in tech support was that Frontier, unlike Verizon, lacked 24/7 tech support. So it was about 1/2 hour from their 8PM end of support for Sunday when I called again. This time it took me some 20 minutes to get to an internet agent. But this guy was much different.

So, the first guy was emulating a service automaton, though he was quite impatient -- clearly working against some sort of clock. The second agent came across as a real person. I don't know. I guess it should not matter. But the sounds of dogs barking the background, although a little distracting, made it seem like I was dealing with a real person. Could just have been a shift change thing, but the first guy seemed like a clock-puncher who went into consummate company-guy mode during service calls. Whereas the second guy did not seem to be any "mode".

Anyway, the second agent reiterated that, yes, Frontier had recently switched Indiana to PPPoE. When I asked why we had been given no notice of this, he said it had kind of caught them by surprise as well. Then he said he had just had noticed that there were other reports of internet outage in Indiana, so there might just be a service outage. I should leave my router powered up and it might just connect again once the outage resolved.

That is pretty much what happened, except that about 1.5 hours later, I saw the router still had not made ISP connection, so I power cycled it one more time. This time it did connect. Everything seemed back to normal. Then I checked my settings and got my 3rd shock of the evening. Now I was back to DHCP. I did not change my setting back, but they reverted nevertheless.

I have got to say that I do not want to switch to PPPoE. Having to remember credentials that I use once every few years is not my idea of fun. My guess at this point is that the DHCP to PPPoE roll-out in our area was premature. Maybe the whole thing was a glitch. I mean, if you are going to switch all your customers from a non-credentialed system to a credentialed one, you have to send them their credentials, right? Apparently Frontier has access to the settings in my DSL router, so I suppose they could just plug them in automatically. But they did not. Or at least not yet.

Anyone know about a DHCP to PPPoE switchover in Indiana for Frontier DSL customers?

--
Phillip


Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..
This is the first time I've heard of a DHCP to PPPoE switch taking place in general on Frontier's network. Why would Frontier want to do that besides standardizing their network (They have to get rid of PPPoA as well)? There's many people such as I who would prefer DHCP, despite the limitation it offers with switching out devices or bridging.


Hank
Searching for a new Frontier
Premium
join:2002-05-21
Burlington, WV
kudos:3
reply to pmiguel2
They switched Romney, WV area a month or so ago from PPPoA to PPPoE. Only noticed the change when I received a second DSL line. Seems to be working much better now and improvement in streaming video now.

stephen62

join:2010-09-02
Chesterton, IN
I'm still DHCP here in Northwest Indiana. Just verified by checking my Westell 75000. But this sounds familiar: a couple weeks ago (Oct. 15?), a tech. was at my house switching me to a new modem as part of troubleshooting my "down from 7pm-11pm" problem. He called "central" (?) to get the new modem activated and was told that I was now on PPPoE. He was suspicious from the very beginning, but followed their directions nonetheless. Every attempt he made to set me up on PPPoE failed. He then set me up on DHCP (he may have finally gotten confirmation that the PPPoE part was indeed incorrect) and I was back to "normal" (normal speed during the day, still down 7-11pm). This may be one of those "right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing" situations.


treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to pmiguel2
Well I can remember I had to setup a PPPOE for my motherlaw for her verizon dsl now they have frontier and the pppoe was still working but this was in ohio. It wouldnt surprise me that frontier is switching back to pppoe setup.

pmiguel2

join:2005-12-13
Lafayette, IN
reply to Smith6612

Re: More Indiana PPPoE goofiness?

I think things have been pretty stable in these parts since my initial report above. DHCP service as normal. However today I noticed loss of internet. I rebooted my router and it came up PPPoE again -- this time with my Frontier email and password already plugged into the DSL router. As before, DSL connect was stable, but the ISP would not connect. I rebooted a few more times and I was back on DHCP and connected.

Service seemed to cut back in and out a few times. First DNS would be lost, then the connection to the ISP. A little bit later the connection would re-establish itself. I just switched my local computer over to Google DNS. Since doing that I have not lost my connection in a while.

Anyone else seeing issues of this sort?

--
Phillip


Davesworld

join:2007-10-30
Everett, WA
Reviews:
·Future Nine Corp..
·Callcentric
reply to Hank

Re: Outage/Frontier Indiana switch to PPPoE?

said by Hank:

They switched Romney, WV area a month or so ago from PPPoA to PPPoE. Only noticed the change when I received a second DSL line. Seems to be working much better now and improvement in streaming video now.

I don't see why this would be so because of switching to PPPoE. PPPoA has less overhead if anything and can remain at an mtu of 1500 like the internet itself and also like DHCP dsl whereas PPPoE has to be trimmed down to 1492. PPPoE is the underdog of the lot but will work with a bridged modem to router whereas PPPoA needs the modem to be in the actual firewall/router used. DHCP would be my preference over any of the PPP's but static is the best.

You can't go any worse than PPPoE, fortunately it's still not that bad. Most ppp is done with a ppp plugin library these days in Linux based firewall/routers which calculates the mtu automatically to the highest number before packet fragmentation occurs. With a sub 10mbs connection you won't notice the slightly lower throughput of PPPoE and the required smaller MTU due to overhead.


Hank
Searching for a new Frontier
Premium
join:2002-05-21
Burlington, WV
kudos:3
Davesworld - I am not disagreeing with you. I am only stating the results after Frontier made the change. I am not aware if they made other changes.


Davesworld

join:2007-10-30
Everett, WA
Reviews:
·Future Nine Corp..
·Callcentric
said by Hank:

Davesworld - I am not disagreeing with you. I am only stating the results after Frontier made the change. I am not aware if they made other changes.

Yeah, they fixed something in the process. Frontier took over here in the Northwest and early this year they actually added new equipment near me. Something Verizon may never have done.


Mannus
Premium
join:2005-10-25
Fort Wayne, IN
reply to pmiguel2
I was one of the first adopters of Fios when we were still Verizon. I was initially setup PPPoE and am still.


treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to pmiguel2
Are you sure mannus? because all verizon services in ft.wayne as been switched over to frontier even there ip's.

DanWatson

join:2011-12-18
Bristol, IN
reply to pmiguel2
»www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Living···69090636

I am trying to document this change and prepare my computer customers in Elkhart County, Indiana. Yes, Frontier is changing to PPPoE. I have had it confirmed by several technicians. I had 6-8 customers whose DSL modems changed to PPPoE without warning, and their internet connection's went down like the Edmund Fitzgerald! I do not know how Frontier plans to handle this process, and they are not talking about it . . .

Dan Watson,
Bristol, Indiana


Hank
Searching for a new Frontier
Premium
join:2002-05-21
Burlington, WV
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
Yes, they have changed to PPPoE in several areas. If they have Frontier supplied modems try reset to factory defaults and letting them auto-configure. Didn't play with the Siemens 6520 yet, but the SE567 works ok after the factory reset. Westel 7500 worked without reset.
Expand your moderator at work


Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
reply to Hank

Re: Outage/Frontier Indiana switch to PPPoE?

6520s work fine with PPPoE. Just reset 'em and they'll do the same as the SE567. Or, you could just change the protocol to PPPoE and perhaps adjust a VC Setting such as what is needed in my area.


Hank
Searching for a new Frontier
Premium
join:2002-05-21
Burlington, WV
kudos:3
Smith6612 - When I let the SE567 auto configure I noticed that there were two other VC's that appeared in the setup. I have not tried to see if I can connect using them yet. What did yours change to?


Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..

1 edit
My area still runs on PPPoA for older lines such as mine. I've got my modem bridged in such a way to allow another router to use PPPoE in a PPPoA area. The newer lines in my area run on PPPoE already.

For PPPoA connections, we use VCMUX 0/35 on the VC settings. PPPoE is done on LLC 0/35. If you don't change the encapsulation to the correct type you won't be able to talk over the ATM network.

The only other VC which shows up in my area is 8/35. I have no idea why it even appears as that particular VC has no function what so ever. I deleted it in that case.


Hank
Searching for a new Frontier
Premium
join:2002-05-21
Burlington, WV
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Frontier Communi..
Thanks for the information. I'll have to check as have put the modem away already. But I do not recall seeing any difference between the manual setup and the auto-configuration. Will review again later in week. Very busy at work lately so not much free time during the week.

toml50

join:2012-01-09
Elkhart, IN
reply to pmiguel2
Click for full size
Service Graph
I got the same information off hand from a tech who came to my house on a service issue that has not been resolved after three weeks. My service is not worth what I am paying. I took a trip to the local office this morning and was told that if I had a complaint I should take it up with the FCC of BBB. Hows that for customer service!! See the attached graph on my speed for the last three days and to think I am paying for 7MPS service.
I think I will be pulling the plug on these people.